Question & Answers

Question #13-63 Difference between sects in Islam.


 Muslims from different sects feel justified in killing each other. Would you please be so kind as to explain why Allah cares which sect a Muslim belongs to?


Praises be to Allah.  

Before I answer your questions, I would like to kindly first clarify that the actions of certain individuals or sects do not necessarily have to agree with the true principles of Islam or its teachings. In addition, we cannot generalize by saying: “Muslims from different sects feel justified in killing each other”. Not all Muslims, have that point of view or evil feeling. 

Now, in response to your questions, according to the principles of Islam and the teachings of our Prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h.) sectarianism should not exist among Muslims. Islam strongly condems it. We are all only “Muslims” (the ones who submit to Allah’s will).

Please see what Allah says in the Holy Quran - Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verse 77-78: “O you who have believed, do ‘rukooh’ (bow down) and do ‘sajdah’ (prostration), and worship your Lord Allah Alone, and do righteous deeds: it may be that you attain true success! Exert your utmost for the cause of Allah, as one should.   He has chosen you for His service, and has not laid on you any hardship in your religion.   Therefore, be steadfast in the religion of your father Abraham.   Allah had named you ‘Muslims’ before this, and has named you (Muslims) in this Quran also, so that the Messenger may be a witness in regard to you, and you may be witnesses in regard to the rest of mankind”.

Hence, let me explain how the division came about. During the time of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) Muslims were united and there were no sects. Prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h.) and his companions considered an honor to be known or called by the name Allah had chosen for them, that is: ‘Muslims’. The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) never called himself or those who followed him Sunnis, or Shias, or Hanafis, or Malikis etc. But, unfortunately, the division happened after the death of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.). Differences between the believers set in and some of them chose to break away from the majority of followers and form their own sects. Originally most of these sects were formed due to political differences, but as time passed by they took the shape of religious sects.

Allah clearly says in the Quran Sura Al-Imran (3:103) which reads: “ And hold fast, all together, by the Rope which Allah( stretches out for you), and be not divided among your selves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favor on you; for you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His grace, you became brethren; and you were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His signs clear to you: that you may be guided.

Furthermore, the question about why Allah does care which sect or group a Muslim belongs to can be answered by the Hadith (Sayings) of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) - as narratedby Abdullah ibn Amr : Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said: ‘There will befall my Ummah (followers) exactly (all those) evils which befell the people of Isra'il, so much so that if there was one amongst them who openly committed fornication with his mother there will be among my Ummah (followers) one who will do that, and if the people of Isra'il were fragmented into seventy-two sects, my Ummah (followers) will be fragmented into seventy-three sects! All of them will be in Hell Fire except one sect. They (the Companions) said: ‘O Allah's Messenger (saws), which one is that?’ Whereupon he (saws) replied: ‘It is one to which I and my companions belong.(Hadith book ofAl-Tirmidhi Hadith 171).

The issue of killing of someone who does not agree with ones beliefs is totally un-Islamic and unacceptable. But, I must emphasize that this does not only happen among those who call themselves Muslims, but also in other religions as well. Not long ago, in Ireland the Catholics and the Protestants killed each other. They belonged to the same faith, but on minor differences they also acted like uncompromising Christians. Such things are awful and must be condemned.

I hope I fully answered your questions and if you have any other doubts, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Allah knows best. Thank you.

Shk. Mostafa

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